Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Our latest gadget - Zoku review

Pinterest has a lot to answer for! I spotted this a while ago and was intrigued. Our freezer is not very big and it is difficult to make ice lollies in it so when I spotted this I was so happy. Yes, it makes ice lollies BUT you put the zoku, empty, into the freezer, it needs to freeze for 24hrs. Then when you are ready for your ice lolly, take out the zoku, pop the stick in, pour in your juice or whatever, wait 10 minutes and it's done! Yes, it freezes it on the counter top.
Now, before you rush out to buy one, let me explain some more. It is easy to make fancy lollies and a different style of lolly for each person. You can slice fruit and before you put your stick in you put it in the zoku, it sticks to the side. They do sell a pack of gadgets to make it easier but I can wield a pair of chopsticks just as well as that old fella from karate kid and have a draw of bento goodies I can use so I just went for the basic set. I have found that choco chips or candies don't stick well but if you dip them in the liquid you are using first, then they do. Remember to pop your stick in before pouring in the liquid.
Stripes - easy peasey, pop your stick in then add a small amount of liquid. Wait a couple of minutes, test to see if the layer has frozen then add another, continue until you are finished!

Some of the lollies I have made so far....

1. Hogwarts stripes made from orange juice and mixed veg juice
2. Pineapple pieces and mango juice
3. Super sour - a slice of lemon and grapefruit juice
4. Superlicky - orange juice and milk with food colour added
5. Choco banana
6. Strawberries and honey milk
7. One of the first a mix of juices food colour and milk I think
8. Stars and stripes mixed fruit juice, milk and candy stars
9. Watermelon flowers and mango juice.

And that brings us to the top three so far in no particular order (as voted by Ebi-kun and myself!)

1. Red veg juice and sweetened milk with cherries
2. Yuzu marmalade with orange juice - just stick some marmalade to the outside then pour in the juice
3. Banoffi pie - slices of banana, milk and condensed milk, chunks of caramel and a biscuit layer

I am pretty impressed with it all, you can make 3 lollies at a time and make a second batch before you have to re-freeze the zoku. I usually buy a couple of those little cartons of juice in different flavours to make the stripes.

The good points...

  • It doesn't take up that much space and it is always ready so you can make a lolly whenever you like.
  • You can control exactly what goes in your lolly - would be great for those with special dietary requirements.
  • You can make a different lolly every day and never get bored of it!
  • seasonal lollies!
  • No more leaked juice in the freezer draws!
  • No more fights over who gets the last xxx lolly, you can make them to order!
The bad points....
  • The blurb says it freezes in 8 minutes, it doesn't it takes longer and if you are doing something fancy then expect it to take 15 minutes.
  • It takes 24 hours to re-freeze so if you want a lolly in the morning and again in the afternoon it won't be frozen properly to work.
  • For me this isn't really a bad point but it maybe for some, the liquid you use has to have natural sugar in it, you can't use any type of artificial sweetener. If I am using yoghurt or milk I add some condensed milk and we use 100% fruit juices. We don't drink pop (soda) but you can use flat pop to make lollies.
I bought mine on Amazon jp for those in Japan, I am sure they are pretty easy to get hold of elsewhere. They also make a storage case if you want to make some ready to go but you need extra sticks. There is a recipe book too but it doesn't look like it is available in Japan.
Just so you know, this is an independent review, zoku have not paid nor bribed me to write it!
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